Double the Monkey Business

Posts by this author:

Football Widow

I am under no illusion, I will become a football widow over the next few weeks. Not only will my…

View Post

Babi a Fi #parentingscoop

Babi a Fi #parentingscoop

This month I am thrilled to have the lovely Jess. She blogs over at Babi a Fi take part in #parentingscoop.    I have followed Babi a Fi for a while now and love to read her posts. I really love the look of this blog, it is really bright and eye-catching and one that always stands out for me.  Jess covers a variety of topics and really has something for everyone.  Please pop over and visit her blog,, and say hi.

Bio – Jess at Babi A Fi


My name’s Jess, and I share my life with Anthony and our 16 month old daughter, Marianna. I blog about pretty much anything and everything over at Babi a Fi (Baby and Me), and in my day job I’m an elected councillor for and the deputy mayor of Torfaen in south Wales.

Tell us about your pregnancy

It seemed to last forever!

I suspected I was pregnant within a week or so of conception, and I was sick almost right from the beginning. I couldn’t wear make up for months, or use any of my usual perfumes or hair products because the faintest whiff would have me running for the bathroom. The worst thing was air freshner – I still can’t bear the smell of it now, so we just have to have the windows open and freeze instead.

I was so happy and excited to be having a baby, don’t get me wrong, but actually being pregnant wasn’t any fun at all.

What was your one essential item for your hospital bag and why?

Magazines. I bought a bundle of women’s weekly magazines to take with me, with the idea the stories and puzzles would be easy enough to focus on even if I was in pain! In the event, I found them a good distraction the first night, because I don’t think I could have concentrated on anything more involved.

What item did you pack in your hospital bag that you didn’t use?

Camera. I just took pictures with my phone instead.

Where did you give birth? Did you have any complications?

Hospital. I was booked in for an induction because I was 12 days overdue, which is my health board’s limit. We arrived, I got on the bed, and a nurse came over to do a routine check – a couple of minutes later I was being rushed down to theatre for an emergency ceserean. It was the scariest moment of my life being put under general anaesthetic, because I was being warned to try and prepare myself for the worst, and I didn’t know what news I would be coming round to.

What were the first few weeks like after giving birth?

Horrible. Thankfully Marianna is a fighter, and she was pulled out breathing independently. But because of the birth (I’d had a placental abruption), she was taken up to intensive care for observation where she then had a fit and a few other problems. I could have stayed in hospital but I was a total mess and couldn’t bear the thought of having to stay on my own. I went in every day to visit – but I felt guilty for not staying in, terrified she was never going to come out, and the abdominal pain was awful.

In the past, I always thought cesareans were the ‘soft’ option. I was wrong. So very wrong. I couldn’t even get up on my own for about a week.)

Things started to get better when Marianna was moved onto the low dependency ward, and when we brought her home a few weeks later I couldn’t stop crying with relief because it felt like I was finally her mum, instead of someone who just got in the way of the people who knew what they were doing.

Once she was actually home, things went really well though.

Do you have any advice for new parents?

Don’t be afraid to tell people they have to wait before they can visit. I felt so stressed out trying to keep everyone updated, and then we were just innundated once Marianna got home. It was way more exhausting than anything Marianna threw at us. I think spreading out the visits more would have made things much easier to deal with.

If you were to go through pregnancy again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t push myself so hard. I forced myself to go to a lot of work things I didn’t really *need* to be at, and it only left me feeling ill and miserable. Plus, I’m sure I wasn’t much fun to be around anyway!

What is your funniest parenting story?

Marianna’s favourite rhyme is ‘My Grandfather’s Clock’, and whenever she wants to hear it she demands ‘Tick Tock’ as loudly as she can. The only problem is that it sounds much more like ‘Dick Cock’, which is not really something you want your toddler to be shouting repeatedly in the middle of the supermarket…

Babi a Fi

Me and Marianna now


Where to find Jess, Babi A Fi:

My favourite posts from Babi A Fi:


Thanks so much for taking part Jess.  Your story made me laugh and cry.  What an emotional start Marianna had, your story brought tears to my eyes.  Yet your Grandfather Clock story made me laugh out loud 🙂



Are you interested in taking part in the next guest series?  If so either comment below or drop me am email at  For more information on #parentingscoop, visit here



Summer? Are you there?

Summer, it is great isn’t it?

enjoying the summer sun

I was looking back at my draft posts today and realised I had one that I had never published.  In fact, that isn’t true I have loads in my draft folder that I have not finished yet.  Anyway, I laughed out loud when I saw a post I wrote a month ago.  The post had the title:

The Taste of Summer

I remember that day, the sun was shining and every day that weekend we went out and had fun.  Outdoor activities.  Outdoor fun.  Lots of laughter.

That day I came home, sat with a glass of fizzy and wrote this post about how I love this time of year.  How I love the long evenings.  Spending more time in the garden than the house.  I even went and bought a paddling pool that weekend!

So why did I laugh?  Well today it has rained non-stop.  Not in a drizzly, rain kind of way.  In a completely chucking it down, pelting with rain sideways kind of way.

And I had to walk home in it after taking my boy to the doctor.  The kids were all ok, wrapped up and under rain covers sitting in the buggy.  They had a snooze on the way home and woke up dry.  I on the other hand felt like this:

As you can probably tell, it was not a pleasant walk home.  And, no matter how much I tried to convince myself that the fresh air ‘would do us all good’, I was pretty sure that I was just a very wet and grumpy mum and the kids were too asleep to appreciate anything.

It could have been worse though, the thunderstorm didn’t start until we got home.  Every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.

I think I didn’t post the original post, because I thought a post about weather would be boring.  I realise that I am now writing another post about weather… but… I am guessing a post about me getting stuck in the rain is better than a smug post about sunshine?

So I am now asking myself, can I still taste summer?




Activities Finder: Club Hub UK

Activities Club Hub UK

Find activities in your local area with Club Hub UK


A few years ago we moved house.  The boys were really small at the time and I didn’t know anyone in the local area.

I had to rely heavily on information provided by the Health Visitor, to find out what activities were on.  At the time I wished that there was an easy app to use, which would tell me everything that was happening in my local area.  I looked for something and didn’t find a thing.  How frustrating.

I have had the same problem when visiting family and when we have been away for a few days on holiday.  I wanted to know what activities were happening locally and came up with very little.

So what is the solution?  Where can you source information on activities?

Recently, I found out about a new app that is being launched in summer 2016 from Club Hub UK.  The app is free and will help parent’s locate children’s clubs and activities around the UK.  Problem. Solved.

As their website says:

“Tessa thought that there should be a way that she could promote her after school club to all the local parents of East Sheen. She then thought about creating an app where people could locate all the children’s clubs in their area – a simple app where parents could input their child’s age and interests, and the search results would list local clubs and their details”

I will definitely be using it when it is launched over the summer.  In particular if I am somewhere I am not familiar with, for example on holiday or visiting family.

I had a chat with some Tessa at Club Hub UK last week, and offered to do a freebie blog post to help promote the service.  I really think this is something that readers in the UK would use, and decided to help them promote the app

Want to know more?  Why not visit Club Hub UK via their social media accounts:

Or you could drop Tessa an email:  They will also have a fab new website running alongside the app.

Do you think you would use this service?  Let me know in the comments section.

If you try out this service when it is launched, let me know what you think of it in the comments.

**no money has been exchanged for the production of this post.  I have offered this service as I genuinely believe in the potential for this app**


All the fun of the fair…

This weekend has been a bank holiday in Germany and the summer fair – known as Leineweber-Markt – was in town.

Disaster: Illness has struck

We were looking forward to a fun-filled, family-friendly, long weekend.  However, it was clouded somewhat with an outbreak of conjunctivitis and tonsillitis.

Poorly boy blowing nose...

The weekend started a little early, when on Tuesday I picked the kids up from kindergarten to find that Bob D had a red eye.  The teacher said she thought it was conjunctivitis.

When I got him home, it was clear that he wasn’t his usual happy self.  He was also complaining of a sore throat.  A trip to the doctors the next morning confirmed what we thought.  Which meant an early start to the long weekend.

Apart from Thursday, which was our bank holiday, we did manage to get outside for fresh air everyday.  This always makes us feel better.  Stuck in the house day after day gets a bit grim and there are only so many times you can watch Inside Out or Star Wars on repeat.

Friday was just a half hour walk along “The Ridge” which is a lovely place, particularly when there were few people around.  Not much but enough to just get us out of the house for a little bit and stop the cabin fever setting in.

Daddy and Dylan climb the 'mountain', i.e. the small hill.
One thing I have noticed since we have had the monkeys,  I catch a lot more run-of-the-mill illnesses now.  This weekend was no exception.  By Saturday, I had a swollen eye and was full of the cold.

However, as the boys were feeling better, mummy had no choice but to stock up on painkillers and get on with it.  The joys of parenting.

Long gone are the days where I could sit and watch Friends re-runs, drink tea and sleep.  That said, I am sure that I would have felt a lot worse if I had just stayed on the couch feeling sorry for myself!

Fun Fair

On Sunday, by far the worst day in terms of weather, we braved the fun fair.  We had promised the kids all weekend we would take them and they were really excited.  Sunday was really the first day when we felt they would appreciate it.

They were so excited when we drove around the town centre to get a parking space.  Looming in the distance they could see the big wheel.  The lights of the fairground rides sparkled.  They were shrieking with joy at the prospect.

Rather than park the car both were suggesting that we stop and leave it abandoned in the street so as not to waste time getting to the rides!

We parked the car and raced to keep up with the little monkeys, as they quickly dragged to the fair.  They quickly found a ride they were keen on and settled down into a race car and a tractor (in the style of Mater for those who, like us, have little ‘Cars’ fans).

The boys on the rides at the fair.

A small selection of the rides the monkeys tried out. The planes were their favourite.

They loved going round and round in circles.

Next they found little planes complete with a lever to fly up in the air.  They LOVED that, although it took a little while for them to realise they needed to keep the lever up to stay in the air, queue lots of bobbing up and down while we frustratingly shouted from the sidelines: “Keep the lever up!!!”

Next stop was the candy floss shop.  I love candy floss.  In fact, just the taste of it take me right back to being a little girl at the fair.

I forgot, however, how quickly it disappears!  Candy floss, bigger than the boys’ heads, were devoured in seconds.  The inevitable sugar rush followed.

The boys pick the flavour of candy floss they want at the fair.

I thought candy floss only came in one flavour, apparently not anymore….

Thankfully, there were plenty of things to see and do at the fair to keep the hyper kids occupied!  Next up Daddy was tasked with winning some toys from the impossible games.  I am sure they are rigged.  Still he managed to win a toy for each of them which was impressive.

Then they ventured on the HUGE slide, which rivalled most things they have been on before, in terms of height and speed.

We tried to get them to go on the swings and, despite initially being excited and willing, both suddenly became terrified of them.  It seems to strange to me that they are brave with things I would NEVER want to do in a million years (i.e. the huge, high, fast slide) but are so scared by other things.

We then ventured for food to fill our empty tummies.  The boys opted for Bratwurst and chips, and were especially impressed that they chips were crinkle cut.  The hubby and I opted for a delicious sour dough pizza base, topped with ham and cheese in the style of Flammkuchen.  It was fab.  We topped it off with chocolate strawberries.

Balloons, good food and toys at the fair

More fairground fun

On our way home, the boys fell asleep in the car and didn’t wake up when we brought them inside.  Which meant…afternoon nap for mummy.  Bliss!

What did you get up to this weekend?  If it is a bank holiday with you, are you doing anything fun?

Like this post?  Read some of our other adventures here.